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Feedback: September 2004, Published: October 2004

I have not published the feedback column for six months. Here are two of the items that I started to format for the feedback column. My apologies for the other unanswered mail. From now on I will try to lift my game There were several emails about Robots. Unfortunately the Robot tracking script is in a serious state of neglect at present. I will try to do some work on it soon.


Message from John Titornot

From: John Titornot
Date: Tue,  9 Mar 2004 09:30:40 +1100 (EST)

Dear Webmaster,

 -- Message Follows --
Fellow Developers,

I found your site on Google and went to view your list of Browsers by
Popularity ( The list
took a really long time to build and I have a P4_1.6 1G_RAM... So to
make a long story short, I thought I'd just let you guys know that if
you add the COL field to your loooooooooong tables then the tables can
populate as they download, which looks a lot better than nothing for a
minute then BAM!! a huge list.

<table border=0 border-style="solid" frame="box" cellpadding=2 cellspacing=0>
<!-- browser_list -->

<table cols="###NUMBER_OF_COLUMNS####" border=0 border-style="solid" frame="box" cellpadding=2 cellspacing=0>
<!-- browser_list -->

 -- Message Ends --
Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1)

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Re: Message from Al Gordon

Date: Fri, 21 May 2004 13:02:41 +1000
From: Gerry Patterson

G'day Gordon,

What this seems to be doing is using a perl script on your server which
is in the file $DOC_ROOT/cgi-bin/ (where $DOC_ROOT is your
document root for apache -- assuming that you don't have aliases). I
suggest you review this file and see what it is they are doing. It is
probably a form mail script.


Gerry Patterson

On Fri, May 21, 2004 at 12:21:48PM +1000, wrote:
> Dear Webmaster,
>  -- Message Follows --
> Your site taught me a lot about User-Agent strings. Now I understand the convoluted history that led to the current mess. Thank you.
> I am operating a public message forum, and naturally I get some spam being posted. I am blocking 99% of it, but I have a question about the latest attack (which I managed to block, but I still don't understand the basic attack mechanism).
> All of the attacks are coming from the following User-Agent:
> - - [20/May/2004:01:35:14 -0400] "POST /cgi-bin/ HTTP/1.0" 403 308 "" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; Windows 98; DigExt; AIRF)". There are lots of different IP addresses, so likely an anonymous proxy is being used by the spammer.
> My question is: What is AIRF? I am now blocking it in httpd.conf and the attacks have stopped, but am I blocking any legitimate visitors who may be using such a User-Agent?
> Any help would be appreciated.
> Thanks,
> Al
>  -- Message Ends --
>  From:
> Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; Q312461; YComp

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